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For many years now, friends and acquaintances have been telling me about the benefits of yoga. But I had always been more inclined to the gym. When I was in my last year of college, I would go about 2-3 times a week and that would be more than enough...then. I’m 25 now and way more unfit than I was when I was 20. Being out of the house for 12 hours a day (minimum) doesn’t really leave any room for gym visits or any energy to make the effort over the weekend. But then I booked my tickets to Mauritius and ordered all of these gorgeous bikinis from ASOS for it. All that was left was getting a bikini-body and just about 5 weeks... That’s when I finally made the call to a yoga instructor my friend had recommended ages ago. We decided to start the classes 3 times a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - at 6 in the morning.
Now, I know that it isn’t easy to wake up that early, especially for any 20-something who has a social life. But I really, really wanted to look my best for my 2-week long vacation and recently, I hadn’t been feeling all that confident about my body. I had gone from being an XS/S to a M and while there’s nothing wrong about that, just not being able to fit into all of those new dresses, gave me the determination I needed to make that 6 am class happen.
We started with the basics - neck rotations, breathing exercises, surya namaskar and many asanas that I wasn’t able to do properly for at least the first 5 classes.
The change I noticed, from the first day itself, was that I was feeling so much more positive all day long. I was over the moon about finally doing something that would make me fitter, calmer and give me better stamina. I would talk about it to my friends, my family and everybody was very encouraging of it.
About 2 weeks later, I tried on an old pair of jeans. Now, sure, everybody tries old clothes on once in a while but for me it was about just feeling better about my body. No, I didn’t fit into them that time, in case you were wondering. And even though I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be able to, it stopped being about losing kgs and inches for me - it was all about feeling fitter and comfortable in my own skin.
The asanas became tougher after about four weeks - my instructor would ask me to hold the positions for longer. We would count to 10 before dropping every pose and I would always feel the burn in my thighs, arms and my abdominal muscles the most. I would push through the pain and keep going (most of the times) and it was a great feeling.
The day before I left for my vacation, I told my instructor that we would have to pick up the classes once I was back. It stopped being a one time thing for me because even if I wasn’t a size Small again, I knew that my mind was calmer and I was feeling confident about my body again. And isn’t that the most important thing of all?
I wore all my favourite swimsuits on my vacation and while I was feeling great about how I looked during the first week, all of the binge-eating had me wishing I could do yoga on the beach 3 times a week. I was still a beginner though and I knew I needed my instructor to coach me during that one hour. I enjoyed to the fullest before coming back home and getting back to my 6 am routine. And I have to say, it is the best decision of 2017 so far.